By Chuck Cox
And what better inaugral edition than a good, solid heavy metal show from the 1980s (or pretty close to it)? As we entered a brand new decade, I was still in my concert-going infancy. And Motley Crue represented only the second band I had already seen once before. Poison was the first band I saw more than once, in case you were wondering.
Anyway, my parents got a divorce when I was in junior high (that’s middle school to you guys under 30). I eneded up living with my mom, and the one thing my parents seemed to have no trouble agreeing on was I was far too young to go to a rock concert in high school. Yeah, I know. I didn’t want to see Bruce Springsteen, Prince, or Madonna when they rolled through Houston during my sophomore year anyway. Sigh.
So a little more than a month after I graduated from Spring Hill High School, in Longview, in 1987, I was at Shreveport, Louisiana’s Hirsch Coliseum to see Motley Crue on the Girls, Girls, Girls tour. I honestly couldn’t have picked a much better first show to attend. After an opening set by Whitesnake, Motley Crue pulled out all of the stops to put on a bombastic, killer live show. Drummer Tommy Lee’s 360-degree rotating drum set is still the stuff of legend.
Anyway, I knew I was in for another great concert the second time around as I made my way to San Antonio’s Hemisfair Arena with some friends to see the Crue on its Dr. Feelgood tour. Warrant opened the show this time around. And the late Jani Lane led the band through a very strong opening set that got the crowd amped up for the headliners. Motley was fantastic once again. And Lee had a drum set that took him over the audience, nearly to the ceiling of Hemisfair. Pretty awesome stuff.
By that time, the band had a very strong catalogue, including a superb latest effort it was promoting. The title track for “Dr. Feelgood” might be the Crue’s best song ever. It’s certainly got one of its most killer riffs. The amazing thing about Motley Crue, to me, is even though Vince Neil is not the greatest of singers in a live setting, its shows are always fantastic.
The most vivid memory of that night, however, came after the show, when we were on our way back from the arena. We saw Motley Crue’s limo pull onto the highway, right beside our vehicle. My friends and I all yelled at the car, and bassist Nikki Sixx eventually rolled down the window and waved at us. Ah, youth.
This was one of a ton of metal shows I would go on to see. And, rest assured, there will be plenty more. I’m glad so many of the bands from that era are still touring. Looking back on it now, I still remember that show as being just a fantastic, entertaining concert that perfectly encapsulated the heyday of metal. And the ticket price? $17.50. Those were the days.